Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Galathea (Modern)
  • Editor: David Bevington

  • Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: John Lyly
    Editor: David Bevington
    Peer Reviewed

    Galathea (Modern)

    [Enter] Cupid. Telusa, Eurota, [and] Larissa enter singing, [with Ramia].
    Oyez, Oyez! If any maid
    Whom leering Cupid has betrayed
    To frowns of spite, to eyes of scorn,
    745 And would in madness now see torn
    The boy in pieces --
    All Three Let her come
    Hither and lay on him her doom.
    Eurota Oyez, Oyez! Has any lost
    750A heart which many a sigh hath cost?
    Is any cozened of a tear,
    Which, as a pearl, Disdain does wear?
    Here stands the thief.
    All Three Let her but come
    755 Hither, and lay on him her doom.
    Larissa Is any one undone by fire,
    And turned to ashes through desire?
    Did ever any lady weep,
    Being cheated of her golden sleep?
    760 Stol'n by sick thoughts?
    ALL THREE The pirate's found,
    And in her tears he shall be drowned.
    Read his indictment; let him hear
    What he's to trust to. -- Boy, give ear!
    Telusa Come, Cupid, to your task. First you must undo all these lovers' knots, because you tied them.
    Cupid If they be true love-knots, 'tis unpossible to unknit them; if false, I never tied them.
    Eurota Make no excuse, but to it.
    Cupid Love-knots are tied with eyes and cannot be undone with hands, made fast 770with thoughts and cannot be unlosed with fingers. Had Diana no task to set Cupid to but things impossible?
    [They threaten him.]
    I will to it.
    [He sets to work, unwillingly, on a love-knot.]
    Ramia Why how now? You tie the knots faster.
    Cupid I cannot choose. It goeth against my mind to make them loose.
    Eurota Let me see, now.[She tries.] 'Tis unpossible to be undone.
    775Cupid. It is the true love knot of a woman's heart, therefore cannot be undone.
    [He tries another.]
    Ramia That falls in sunder of itself.
    Cupid It was made of a man's thought, which will never hang together.
    Larissa You have undone that well.
    780Cupid Ay, because it was never tied well.
    Telusa To the rest, for she will give you no rest.[Cupid resumes his task.] These two knots are finely untied!
    Cupid It was because I never tied them. The one was knit by Pluto, not Cupid, by money, not love; the other by force, not faith, by appointment, not affection.
    [He gives up on another love-knot.]
    785Ramia Why do you lay that knot aside?
    Cupid For death.
    Telusa Why?
    Cupid Because the knot was knit by faith, and must only be unknit of death.
    [He takes up another, and laughs.]
    790Eurota Why laugh you?
    Cupid Because it is the fairest and the falsest, done with greatest art and least truth, with best colors and worst conceits.
    Telusa Who tied it?
    Cupid A man's tongue.
    [He bestows it on Larissa.]
    Larissa Why do you put that in my bosom?
    795Cupid Because it is only for a woman's bosom.
    Larissa. Why, what is it?
    Cupid A woman's heart.
    Telusa Come, let us go in and tell that Cupid hath done his task. Stay you behind, Larissa, and see see to it}} he sleep not, for love will be idle. 800And take heed you surfeit not, for love will be wanton.
    Larissa Let me alone. I will find him somewhat to do.
    Exit Telusa [with Ramia and Eurota].
    Cupid Lady, can you for pity see Cupid thus punished?
    Larissa Why did Cupid punish us without pity?
    805Cupid Is love a punishment?
    Larissa It is no pastime.
    Cupid [To the absent Venus] O Venus, if thou sawest Cupid as a captive, bound to obey that was wont to command, fearing ladies' threats that once pierced their hearts, I cannot tell whether thou wouldst revenge it for despite or laugh at it for disport.[To the 810absent Diana] The time may come, Diana, and the time shall come, that thou that settest Cupid to undo knots shalt entreat Cupid to tie knots.[To the ladies in the audience, perhaps also to the absent nymphs] And you ladies that with solace have beheld my pains shall with sighs intreat my pity.
    He offereth [starts to go] to sleep.
    Larissa How now, Cupid, begin you to nod?
    [Enter Ramia and Telusa, and perhaps Eurota.]
    Ramia Come, Cupid, Diana hath devised new labors for you that are god of loves. You shall weave samplers all night, and lackey after Diana all day. You shall shortly shoot at beasts for men because you have made beasts of men, and wait on ladies' trains because thou entrappest ladies by trains. All the stories that are in Diana's arras which are of love 820you must pick out with your needle, and in that place sew Vesta with her nuns and Diana with her nymphs. How like you this, Cupid?
    Cupid I say I will prick as well with my needle as ever I did with mine arrows.
    Telusa Diana cannot yield. She conquers affection.
    Cupid Diana shall yield. She cannot conquer destiny.
    825Larissa Come, Cupid, you must to your business.
    Cupid You shall find me so busy in your heads that you shall wish I had been idle with your hearts.